2008 Ford Shelby GT500 Convertible Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Ford Shelby GT500 Convertible

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Ford Shelby GT500 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 5.4 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 500 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 14/20 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2008 Ford Shelby GT500

  • An intoxicating mix of '60s-era style exotic car performance and modern-day refinement, the 2008 Ford Shelby GT500 is a high-performance bargain.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Supercharged V8 provides exotic-car-level performance, predictable handling, old-school styling cues, reasonable price as long as you can get it for MSRP.

  • Cons

    Low-grade interior plastics, hefty curb weight, old-tech solid-axle rear suspension, stability control not available.

  • What's New for 2008

    The 2008 Ford Shelby GT500 gains a couple of new features. Safety is enhanced via newly standard front-seat side airbags and the option of xenon headlights. Those looking for a cozier cabin should consider the new Ambient Interior Lighting option, which gives the owner the choice of seven colors to illuminate the footwells, console and cupholders.

Full 2008 Ford Shelby GT500 Review

What's New for 2008

The 2008 Ford Shelby GT500 gains a couple of new features. Safety is enhanced via newly standard front-seat side airbags and the option of xenon headlights. Those looking for a cozier cabin should consider the new Ambient Interior Lighting option, which gives the owner the choice of seven colors to illuminate the footwells, console and cupholders.


Quick, name the most powerful Ford Mustang ever. If you think it's from the late 1960s or early '70s, go back to listening to that Jimi Hendrix eight-track -- you're a few decades off. The correct answer is the 2008 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. With a 500-horsepower supercharged V8, this "King of the Road" Mustang promises to push its jockey into the seat with even more gusto than any pony of the past.

In addition to the supercharged V8, the Shelby GT500 features a six-speed manual transmission, a tuned suspension, sticky 18-inch Goodyear F1 supercar tires and meaty Brembo brakes with 14-inch front rotors fitted with four-piston front calipers. Of course there are the obligatory racing stripes, emblazoned with "GT500" just like its Age of Aquarius forerunner. Of course there's a beefed-up chassis that's up to the task of handling all the power belted out by that monster motor.

It all works quite well -- the Shelby GT500 is more than a one-dimensional straight-line stormer. It's actually a more agile performer than a few things on its spec sheet might suggest -- 2-ton curb weight, big and heavy engine up front, low-tech solid rear axle in the rear. Quick-ratio steering, along with an unobtrusive traction control system, allows for plenty of tail-out thrills. Massive rubber fore and aft (front tires are 255/45R18s, while those in back measure 285/40R18) does a respectable job of managing all that power and weight.

There are a few downsides to the 2008 Ford Shelby GT500, however. The cabin materials are more $15K than $45K. And being nearly 800 pounds heavier than a Corvette, the GT500 is not going to give any serious sports car fits on a twisty two-lane road. But the GT500 is more about being the ultimate Mustang than shaving seconds off a road course. With styling that pays a tasteful tribute to the original GT500 along with performance that will embarrass the legendary Boss 429, today's GT500 is a bargain.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Ford Shelby GT500 is based on the Mustang. As such, it is rear-wheel drive, seats four and can be had as either a coupe or a convertible. The GT500 comes with 18-inch alloy wheels shod with high-performance Goodyear F1 tires (255/45 front and 285/40 rear), hood-mounted heat extractors, a front air splitter, a ducktail-style rear spoiler, air-conditioning, leather-upholstered sport bucket seats with Cobra logos, a power driver seat, a 500-watt stereo with CD changer, cruise control and full power accessories. The GT500 convertible also comes with a power-operated soft top. Both the GT500 coupe and convertible have "GT500" side stripes, while the coupe also has racing stripes over the nose and tail; Ford offers a stripe-delete option for buyers who prefer a stealth look.

Options include a navigation system, an upgraded 1,000-watt sound system, satellite radio, xenon headlights, an Ambient Interior Lighting option (which gives the owner the choice of seven colors with which to illuminate the cockpit) and a Premium interior trim package (which includes a leather-wrapped dash top, upgraded door panels, auto-dimming rearview mirror and sport pedals). A sunroof is not available on the coupe.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2008 Ford Shelby GT500 uses essentially the same supercharged 5.4-liter V8 that was fitted to Ford's recently departed GT supercar. There are some key differences: To keep the cost down on the GT500 there is a wet-sump oil system (versus race-oriented dry-sump), a cast-iron block (instead of aluminum) and a "Roots-type" supercharger (instead of an Eaton "screw-type" with 13.5 psi). The result is 500 hp and 480 pound-feet of torque. Our performance testing yielded very impressive numbers: a 4.6-second 0-60-mph sprint and a 12.8-second time for the quarter-mile.

A Tremec six-speed manual gearbox routes all that through a 3.31 limited-slip rear axle. No automatic transmission is available. EPA fuel economy estimates, at 14 mpg city and 20 mpg highway, are respectable considering the exotic-car level of performance on tap.


Antilock disc brakes by Brembo feature four-piston calipers and 14-inch rotors up front with two-piston calipers and 11.8-inch discs in back are standard, as are traction control and front seat side airbags. Stability control is not available and there is no spare tire, just a temporary inflation kit.

Interior Design and Special Features

Interior color choices are limited to either all-black or black and red. Special accents include an aluminum shifter knob and metallic trim that's scattered about the cabin. A Premium interior package provides a stitched leather trim for the top of the dash along with upgraded door trim and aluminum sport pedals. The instruments include a boost gauge and a trip computer/message center. The front seats are aggressively bolstered to hold one in place during hard cornering. Overall, the cabin is comfortable and the controls are easy to use, but there's too much hard plastic given the car's price. Trunk capacity measures 12.3 cubic feet in the coupe and 9.7 in the convertible.

Driving Impressions

With more power than any of the revered Shelby Mustangs of the 1960s, the 2008 Ford Shelby GT500 offers performance that's nothing short of intoxicating. Just as its specs suggest, the GT500 lunges forward with exotic-carlike verve when you boot the throttle. Gearchanges are positive and crisp, and the overall driving experience can be either civilized or brutal, depending on your mood and how quickly you move your throttle foot.

Despite its 2-ton curb weight, the GT500 is more than just a drag-strip performer. Careful suspension tuning by Ford's engineers and quick steering make it feel surprisingly nimble through the turns, while an unobtrusive traction control system allows for plenty of "slideways" action. On most roads, the GT500 is predictable and easy to drive, though hammering the throttle over a rough stretch will upset the car due to the non-independent rear suspension. With its huge disc brakes, brake fade is a non-issue and stopping power is amazing for such a heavy car -- a stop from 60 mph takes a relatively short 116 feet.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Fast ford

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Vehicle: 2008 Ford Shelby GT500 2dr Convertible (5.4L 8cyl S/C 6M)

I bought this car for my wife and traded in a 2004 350Z. All in all the Z was easier as a daily driver but we really don't drive this car often. Mash the gas and smile all the time. A fun car to drive but as others point out the interior needs more distinguishing characteristics compared to a GT. The dealer tried to add 15K to the MSRP based on it being a Shelby; don't pay it! It is an extremely nice car but please know folks that this is a suped up Cobra and the only thing common to Vegas modified Shelby's is the Shelby label on the back and badge.


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Vehicle: 2008 Ford Shelby GT500 2dr Convertible (5.4L 8cyl S/C 6M)

I saw my first dream car when I was 15. A red conv Shelby GT 500. All I could think was someday! I have since owned other performance cars including Corvette's, Camaro's, Saleen's at 560hp. All of which I was and remain impressed with. What can I Say,I am a 12yr old gear head with a decent job that lets me play. Then I got my 2008 Vapor GT500 Conv. My wife will tell you I cant say enough about it. The GT500 was awesome, But I felt it lacked immediate throttle response. A Evolution Perfomance kit (Air Intake, smaller pulley 4psi boost, and a re-program for a quick 640hp)put me into pure wow mode. The GT500 has looks open roof and real power. I am living my American Dream

All american swagger - get

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Vehicle: 2008 Ford Shelby GT500 2dr Convertible (5.4L 8cyl S/C 6M)

Comparing this car to fancy exotic sports cars misses the point All have their merits but they are completely different. If this were people it is like comparing John Wayne to Elton John. The Shelby is tough gritty all American fun with a retro swagger and not fancy flashy with funky glasses or even carbon fiber for that matter It is all about the engine with enough suspension raw power torgue and oversteer to put a chill down your spine and your heart in your mouth when you stomp on it. And If you do have time to look at all that shinny plastic while going 0-60 in 4.5+ you will see a smile on your face. Can't do that with those walnut and leather, int. All American swagger. Get some

What a privledge to own

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Vehicle: 2008 Ford Shelby GT500 2dr Convertible (5.4L 8cyl S/C 6M)

Just an overall great car. A bit pricey, but buying in February appears to make a considerable price difference. This car somewhat reminds me of the car in the movie "Christine" because it is capable of so many things. Most notably, the 500 horsepower will blow away just about anything. Most Corvettes don't even match up to the Shelby in terms of power. Corvette owners lining up next to a Shelby at a red light shouldn't even consider steppin on the pedal. Try that and you'll be embarassed and left in the dust. Any person using the Shelby for ordinary, everyday travel should be shot.

One fun ride

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Vehicle: 2008 Ford Shelby GT500 2dr Convertible (5.4L 8cyl S/C 6M)

I have a 2007 Vette CV to compare and the new GT 500 CV. The GT 500 is more fun to drive because it seems faster regardless of Road and Track articles. I am not into racing or burning tires but if you hold the GT 500 down very long you better have no distractions and a pretty long straight ahead of you because the pavement will go by like you are leaving the airport in a jet. The Vette has more options and obviously more finess. Compare a Vette to the Honda Goldwing and this new GT 500 to the Harley Vrod Screaming Eagle all of which I have owned. They are very different cars. I started off driving a Roush CV and moved to the 500 due to the subdued exhaust and better resale in my opinion

A beauty and a beast

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Vehicle: 2008 Ford Shelby GT500 2dr Convertible (5.4L 8cyl S/C 6M)

I have always been a huge fan of the Mustang, specifically, Shelby editions. This car gives you more bangs for your bucks. I fell in-love with this car the moment I saw the hood down (while sitting on a dealer's show room). Performance overall is grea. Drive is smooth. This car is definitely a keeper!

Talk About The 2008 Shelby GT500

2008 Ford Shelby GT500 Discussions See all Started By

of 10 of the exact same vehicles. With the Shelby GT500 being a limited production and every dealer wanting to get as many as they can, there is no way this car is going be available as a "speci...

Gas Mileage


  • 14
  • cty
  • 20
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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